China faces ‘tough’ zero-Covid exit, WHO says

China is facing a “very tough” time as it dismantles its rigid “zero-Covid” policy and allows people to live with the virus, posing challenges preparing hospitals and ensuring people are sufficiently protected, the World Health Organisation said.

Beijing abruptly dropped its zero-tolerance stance last week after protests against its often-draconian Covid-19 lockdowns. The shift, welcomed by many inside the country, has also stoked concerns that infections could spike.

Asked about the policy changes, WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris told a Geneva press briefing on Tuesday that China faced a “very tough and difficult time.

“It’s always very difficult for any country coming out of a situation where you’ve had very, very tight controls,” she said, adding that other countries like Australia had experienced this.

“We’ve always said before: don’t go into lockdown too easily and too quickly because it’s really, really hard to come out.”

Among the challenges are ensuring the population is “appropriately vaccinated” and preparing hospitals for both a potential increase in cases and a potential rush of people who may be infected with other illnesses.

“There are many, many things you have to put in place at community level, at hospital level, at national level in order to maintain that transition,” Harris added.

The WHO typically refrains from commenting on individual countries’ policies, although agency Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus did say in May that China’s Covid-19 policies were not sustainable.

WHO emergencies chief Mike Ryan said earlier this month he was pleased that China was adjusting its strategy and urged it to continue increasing its vaccination coverage.

Paul Hunter, a professor in medicine at Britain’s University of East Anglia, said many people in China were vaccinated too long ago to have adequate protection.

“It’s effectively lost the benefits of its vaccination campaign. Not entirely but largely,” he told Reuters. “And, so it’s in a really difficult position.”

Related Posts

Ukraine has told world leaders gathered in London that it expects to secured billions to help rebuild the country.

Ukrainian drone strikes Russia’s Kursk, Zelensky says US business is ready to invest in Ukraine

Ukraine hit an administrative building in Kursk. The railway station was damaged in August. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met US businessmen. A Ukrainian drone strike hit an…

Massive US alligator killed after police find woman's body still in its mouth

Massive US alligator killed after police find woman’s body still in its mouth

An alligator killed a woman in Florida. Authorities killed the 4m animal. The woman’s body was in the animal’s mouth. An alligator was killed as it was…

Philippines navy

‘Our maritime domains’: Philippines slams Chinese barrier in South China Sea

The Philippines accused China of installing a barrier in the South China Sea. The barrier prevents fishermen from accessing the Scarborough Shoal. China claims 90% of the…

'Let's get this done': Biden blames 'extreme Republicans' for threatening US government shutdown

‘Let’s get this done’: Biden blames ‘extreme Republicans’ for threatening US government shutdown

The US government faces a shutdown on 30 September. US President Joe Biden blamed Republicans for the impasse. He wants any budget to include $24 billion in…

Rupert Murdoch, global media mogul and conservative kingmaker

Rupert Murdoch, global media mogul and conservative kingmaker

The 92-year-old Murdoch announced he is stepping back from both News Corp and Fox, conglomerates which made him a billionaire. His eldest son Lachlan will become the…

The water at Terkos Dam has receded significantly.

Cattle graze in dry reservoirs as drought grips Istanbul

The water at Terkos Dam has receded significantly. Omer Urer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images In the 11 months to September, Turkey’s northwest received 23% less precipitation…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *